Canada has banned direct flights from India, and students have no choice but to endure layovers in two or three countries before finally landing in Canada.
Students have been struggling with obtaining a negative RT-PCR certificate from a third country on the approved list of Canada. Many worry that the norms may change before they land in Canada, reported The Indian Express.
Many of these students attended online classes last year. However, they are required to attend classes in person this year and have no choice but to take the long route to land in Canada.
Many are going through Dubai, Barcelona, and Mexico to arrive in Canada. This involves a nine hours layover in Dubai and a two-day stay in Mexico. Travellers are required to take an RT-PCR test in Mexico before boarding the flight to Vancouver. The cost of flying from India to Canada is usually less than 1.5 lakh, but it is currently over Rs 5 lakh.
A parent told The Indian Express that hotels offering refund policy in case of a change in norms are offering exorbitant prices, and affordable hotels have no cancellation policy.
Canada has extended the flight ban from India till September 21. Several European nations like the UK and France have relaxed travel restrictions on India. However, Canada has opened its border to the US which is reporting a new surge in Covid-19.
A concerned parent told The Indian Express that the expenditure was an unexpected hurdle, and the Indian government should raise the issue with the Canadian government. Ajay Bisaria, the High Commissioner of India to Canada, had met the Toronto representative of Air India in July to discuss the resumption of flights.